Publishing videos

There are many ways to publish a video, and for most video assignments, there will be a defined return location for saving your video. It is often necessary to limit the visibility of course work videos to a specific audience, such as other course participants, your own small group or just the teacher. Being able to limit the visibility in this way is important first of all because creating a user account to a third-party service should not be required for completing course assignments, and secondly it is not good for the video to be published on a service where anyone in the world can view unless this is intentional and consensual. This is why we will focus on publishing services supported by the University of Helsinki, which are suitable for handing in study-related videos.

Moodle – directly as a file or linking from elsewhere

The maximum size of files that can be uploaded/created directly in Moodle is 50 megabytes, making this method not directly suitable for any videos longer than a few minutes. In addition, uploading files to Moodle course areas is often restricted to teachers. However, very short videos of less than 50 megabytes can be added directly to a discussion area, for example, if the teacher has created one for a purpose such as handing in very small videos and possibly simultaneous discussion and peer feedback.

Pic: Add video in Moodle directly

However, due to Moodle’s file restrictions, the usual practice is to upload the video to another service and then link for viewing in another location, such as Moodle. We will now present some of these services.

Unitube Uploader

Instructions for use on the Helpdesk website: https://helpdesk.it.helsinki.fi/en/instructions/collaboration-and-publication/unitube/unitube-uploader

Pic: Unitube Uploader

Unitube is the University of Helsinki’s own video service, which includes Unitube Uploader, where every university student can upload even large video files and sort them into series as they wish. These video series can then either be maintained private or published for viewing in different ways. You can also grant permissions to a video series  for other university staff and students, allowing a colleague to add their own videos to the series, for example. However, please note that if a series has multiple administrators, they are all equally able to manage videos added to the series. This means they can then remove your videos – or even you from the series all together, even if you originally created it!

Pic: Uploader series

Currently, the publishing options are:

  1. non-public (= visible only to you), all series are created in this mode by default
  2. published in Uploader, meaning the videos in the series are visible and can be found globally in the Unitube Viewer (the university’s video service) and the videos can also be linked or embedded in various online services
  3.  Moodle only, meaning videos of the series can only be viewed within a certain Moodle area.

If you do not mind the videos being public, method 2 is the easiest and gives you the best options for adding the videos to different platforms as well as allowing others to watch them directly using a link. However, please note that your video can then be found on Google and can be accessed by anyone in the world using the link.

The third method of limiting access to Moodle only requires actions from the teacher managing the Moodle area. In this case the teacher will usually have created an Uploader video series in Moodle and granted the students permission to add videos. In this case, students can save videos from their own Uploader Inbox to the Moodle series, making them only visible in the Moodle area of the specific course.

Instructions with examples Videos to the Unitube Uploader as a student (PDF) describing various ways of handing in videos to Moodle using the Uploader.

Thinglink

Thinglink is a service where you can upload photos and videos and link them together for a “tour”. You can also add a variety of content to your photos that viewers can access by clicking, such as info text or a video window that opens when you click on a specific spot in a 360-degree photo. In practice, you can use Thinglink to create an interactive visual presentation on any topic.

Thinglink offers creative possibilities for your video presentation especially if you have shot 360-degree video. Thinglink allows uploading videos of up to 10 gigabytes. In addition, the audience can be restricted either by allowing access only by University of Helsinki user accounts or making the video available only to people who have the direct link.

You can find the service at https://www.thinglink.com/.

To enable the University of Helsinki licence, first click Log in and then the Microsoft-Office 365 symbol at the bottom of the log-in window. Important: Do not enter your usual firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi e-mail address in the field, but rather click the colourful O365 icon to access the University of Helsinki’s own Office 365 login page, where you enter your username@ad.helsinki.fi (password is the same as before). After this, Thinglink will also be included in your Office 365 tools in the future.

Illustrated login instructions here (OneDrive link).

OneDrive

Everyone has access to OneDrive cloud storage as part of the Office 365 service. Video files can be uploaded there and access to them granted either via a link or directly to people. Cloud storage is a great way to send large files without clogging up anyone’s e-mail with a giant attachment.

When you add a video to OneDrive, the person who receives the link can also view the video directly on OneDrive using its built-in player. Please note, however, that they can always download the video to their own computer. Usually, the desired outcome is that the viewer can only watch the video via a streaming player, such as Unitube.

Stream

Stream is also part of Office 365 like OneDrive, but it is meant to be more of a channel for video viewing and publishing, meaning Microsoft intends for videos to be made available for viewing only, without an option to download. Videos saved on Teams will also be automatically saved in Stream.

Stream allows you to sort videos into lists, just like in Unitube Uploader, and restrict viewing rights to specific individuals or groups. The big disadvantage at the moment is that Stream videos can only be published to people with a University of Helsinki Office 365 user account. This means that publishing to people outside the university is not possible with a direct link. In addition, even if another organisation (such as Aalto University) also uses Office 365, their O365 account will not allow viewing University of Helsinki Stream channels. In other words, Stream videos are organisation-specific, as if an internal YouTube that does not allow publishing videos to the outside world.

Funet Filesender

The teacher may also want the video directly as a file so that they can put it in the Unitube Uploader. In this case, you will need to use some service suitable for uploading large files, such as OneDrive or Funet Filesender to hand in the video.

Instructions for Funet Filesender available on the Helpdesk page here.

Other options

YouTube and Vimeo, the Internet giants of video publishing, also allow publishing free of charge. Many people may already be used to using these services. However, publishing on these platforms requires you to create an account to the service and accepting the terms of use. That may not be possible for everyone in all situations due to issues of publicity and privacy.

YouTube allows you to publish videos more privately as unlisted, meaning only people with the direct link will be able to watch the video, but it will not show up in YouTube search. In Vimeo this is a paid extra feature. Normally, study assignment will not require you to use such services, but outside the academic context these video publishing channels are by far the easiest way to publish videos, with even features like automatic subtitles.